Student, WSU Westside campus start and end together

10:42:58 AM CDT - Thursday, December 08, 2005

By Amy Geiszler-Jones

When WSU opened its Westside Center in August 1994, Teresa Henderson was the first student to enroll in classes there.

Now both the west Wichita resident and WSU's satellite center are again reaching significant milestones at the same time.

Henderson is earning her bachelor's degree with honors in management information systems this December, while WSU plans to leave its 7011 W. Central west-side location for a new, much larger facility at 37th Street and Maize Road.

Teresa Henderson
Photo by David Dinell
West-side resident Teresa Henderson was the first student to enroll in classes at WSU's Westside Center when it opened in 1994. Now both are coming to the end of an academic journey at the same time Henderson will finish her bachelor's degree this semester while WSU plans to leave the Central location for a new facility at 37th Street and Maize Road.
On Aug. 8, 1994, Henderson had no idea she was making a bit of history when she stopped by before 8 a.m. at WSU's new west-side location to enroll in an economics class. She wanted to be sure she got into the class before going to work at her east-side job.

Already taking classes at WSU, Henderson was glad she finally could take courses at a facility just minutes from her home that had convenient parking.

While her college career had some starts and stops during the past decade, Henderson took whatever courses she could at WSU Westside economics, business calculus, world geography, Western civilization, The Meaning of Philosophy, The Art of the Theatre, History of Kansas. In November she took one last class at WSU Westside a Web publishing class.

It's one of the last classes to be offered at the 7011 W. Central location.

On Jan. 17, WSU will begin holding classes at its new west-side facility, named the West Campus, at 3801 Walker Ave., in a new development area in Maize.

Students like Henderson, who enjoyed the convenience of a west location, led to classrooms bursting at the seams in the 8,450 square feet WSU occupied at the west Central location.

Last spring, WSU started using the Maize South Middle School as a west-side overflow facility, and offered 135 classes.

"By going into a new building, we'll start offering 155 classes," said West Campus director Celia Goering.
Not only will more classes be offered, more students can be served in more spacious classrooms.
At the new 24,000-square-foot facility, the 13 classrooms will be able to hold between 35 and 70 students. The West Campus will also have a computer lab, a laboratory that will be used for geology and art, and an interactive distance learning classroom.

Faculty will have access to three offices that will accommodate three people each where they can keep office hours or have Internet access to check e-mail or pull up Blackboard, an online tool used for class and curriculum management.

With a new satellite bookstore that will be open 40 hours a week, the West Campus will be able to accommodate students needing textbooks and the visitors who've stopped by the old location in the past, hoping to buy WSU logo items, Goering said.

More student services will be offered, too, Goering said. General education and financial aid advisers, along with admissions representatives, are scheduled to be at the West Campus on a part-time basis. Returned library books also will be picked up at the west location.

Discussions about offering some student health and counseling and testing services are still under way, Goering said.

Both undergraduate and graduate classes will be offered at the West Campus. Students can complete their general education requirements and earn an associate of arts degree at the west location. The entire master of social work graduate program, along with two certification programs in library media and in professional financial planning, are offered at the West Campus.

The new parking lot will have 750 spaces. "Like on the main campus, parking had grown to be an issue here, too," Goering said of the Central location.

WSU isn't quite finished yet enrolling students at 7011 W. Central. According to Goering, registration will continue at WSU's strip-mall location until Saturday, Jan. 14.

But on Tuesday, Jan. 17, WSU will officially open its West Campus doors. And maybe the Henderson legacy of taking WSU classes on the west side will continue: Teresa Henderson's daughter Lindsay is a sophomore at WSU and she, too, has taken classes at the west facility.

WSU will begin holding classes at its new West Campus, 3801 Walker Ave., which is at 37th and Maize Road, on Jan. 17. The dedication of the new facility is scheduled for March 31.

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